The Third Annual Heroes on The Bluff

John Hopper, Rick Kaiser and Grant Mann

The Museum is deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of our Heroes on The Bluff host, John Hopper. John was a Museum Advisory Board member, enthusiastic advocate, generous supporter, and dear friend. He came to the Museum with an idea to fundraise in Bluffton, South Carolina, and Heroes on The Bluff was born. John founded, built, and grew this event to share his love for country and the SEAL Teams with the community he also so devoutly loved.

John truly loved the Museum and devoted himself to the cause. He was fiercely committed to helping others, and his passion for service was contagious. His larger-than-life personality and ardent nature wooed everyone he met, particularly those he convinced to serve on his Heroes on The Bluff committee. John’s shoes will be impossible to fill, and his absence will be felt by all forever.

We extend our prayers and most sincere condolences to his family, friends, and all of the Palmetto Bluff community during this most difficult time.

John William Hopper, II

March 1, 1958 ~ March 14, 2023 (age 65)

John William Hopper II, of Bluffton, SC passed away on Tuesday, March 14, 2023. He was born on March 1, 1958 in East Liverpool, Ohio to John & Doloras Hopper. After graduating from East Liverpool High School and working in the steel mills of western Pennsylvania over summers to finance his education, John received his BA from Mount Union College and MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. After beginning his career in finance, he earned his Juris Doctorate from the Moritz College of Law at The Ohio State University where he met Diane Boniface, his beloved wife of 31 years. He and Diane had three children, each of whom he loved equally and who were the center of his life. John’s career took him from Pittsburgh, PA to Birmingham, AL, Cincinnati, OH, and Bluffton. Each step of the way he achieved great professional and personal success — as a corporate counsel, technology CEO, investment banker, and, finally, as an entrepreneur – through his natural determination and talent. John was a force of nature who took great joy in solving problems and building meaningful relationships with those in his life. He was truly a self-made man, and intensely devoted to his family as a proud father and ever-loving husband.
John’s talents afforded him the opportunity to build and live the life he wanted, and he went out of his way to share his life passions with his family and friends. John’s many personal friends will fondly recall his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers & Penguins, Formula 1 racing, hunting, bourbon, and golf. John enjoyed serving the community through his involvement in the National Navy SEAL Museum where he served on the Advisory Board.
John was loved deeply by those who knew him and will be forever cherished by his wife Diane; children John (Laura Pettersen) of Chicago, Benjamin (Erin Drake) of Jacksonville, and Clair of Pittsburgh; surviving sisters Rebecca Engelhard of Springboro, OH and Jacqueline Craft of Bluffton; 30 nieces and nephews; and countless personal friends and professional associates. He was preceded in death by his parents, John & Doloras, and his sister Cynthia.
The family will hold a Celebration of Life on Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at 1 PM at the May River Chapel at Palmetto Bluff, 9 Boat House St, Bluffton, SC 29910. Visitation will begin at 11:30 AM.

In lieu of flowers, John’s family has asked that donations be made to the Navy SEAL Museum in his memory.